News Rounds 6-7: Jays selects SS / CF Cameron Eden...

Rounds 6-7: Jays selects SS / CF Cameron Eden and 2B L.J. Talley in 2019 MLB Draft


With the 177th overall choice of 2019 MLB Draft, the Blue jays selected junior Cameron Eden in the 6th round of the MLB Draft of the University of California Berkeley. He was in the 320 ranking on the board of Baseball America, the first Jays draftsman who is not a top 150 player.

As a freshman he won the starting shortstop job for the Golden Bears in 2017, placing a strong .315 / .361 / .472 triple slash rule, on average (.382 BABIP) with a bit of pop but mediocre board disciplines (10 times against 41 strikeouts). That production will shrink to .247 / .306 / .292 in 2018 for its second year.

In addition, his track record in woodcuts in summer competitions is more pedestrian. In 2017, he hit .263 / .316 / .373 in 232 plate appearances in the Northwoods League. In the Cape Cod League last summer it was a similar .254 / .302 / .325 line in 126 PA. The overall profile was similar to its first year, but with motherbase BABIP in the low -300s.

Eden recovered considerably in 2019, despite the transition from shortstop to centerfield. That was partly to accommodate getting other players into the line-up, but also a reflection of that is that it might best fit somewhere else on the next level. It is said that he has a good arm and a good speed, so the outside field is a logical mix, but the infield is also not out of the air. As usual, if a player hits, they find a position for him.

In that respect, he returned in an important way in 2019 and hit .370 as a junior in about 235 PA. The power bounced back to where it was a junior, with similar record discipline. In the end, however, it was powered by a .412 BABIP. The question will be how that translates into pro ball and wood bats, as he has not been able to do with wooden bats so far. On the positive side, the PAC-12 is a very strong baseball league, so it stood for qualitative pitching.

With the 207th overall strike, the Blue Jays chose second baseman L.J. Talley in the 7th round of the University of Georgia. Talley is a senior who started for the Bulldogs for four years, improving his offensive production from year to year, culminating with .332 batting average in 2019 with 20 extra bases and 40 walking against 36 strikeouts. He was 343st on the board of Baseball America.

On the positive side, it is offensive in the glove of the SEC, the baseball top conference where there are many big arms. If that is a legitimate breakthrough that goes on to pro-ball, he could be a very nice choice. He is considered a solid, determined defender. He is a senior sign that should result in significant savings on slots, and as a polished college player Vancouver would make sense as a first assignment.


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